Sports

M. soccer rivalry ends in draw

By
Sports Editor
Monday, October 18, 2010

It was a cold and windy Saturday evening when the No. 15 men’s soccer team (7-1-3, 1-1-1 Ivy) battled Harvard (4-3-5, 1-0-2), but the competition on the field was heated as the Bears earned a 0-0 draw in a double-overtime contest against the Crimson.

In what may be an NCAA record, the teams combined for nine yellow cards on the evening — with Harvard earning seven. One of the cards was awarded to the Harvard bench. In total, 40 fouls were called on the evening.

“The official always has a tough job in a game like this,” said Head Coach Pat Laughlin. “I thought the referee did a good job, but I don’t think that he had a lot of support from his assistants.”

Bruno dominated the shots on goal, taking 25 compared to only six by Harvard. But neither team was able to capitalize.

“We all feel kind of empty because we felt we deserved it,” said forward T.J. Popolizio ’12. “Personally, I feel let down. It’s tough when you have chances to score and you know you can win it.”

Though the ball was never able to find its way into the net, the Harvard keeper had several close calls. In the 23rd minute, a quick rebound by forward Sean Rosa ‘12.5 missed just wide after he booted the ball from the left corner of the box.

Rosa, Thomas McNamara ’13 and Taylor Gorman ’12 led the charge for Brown with five shots apiece. Ten different Bears took at least one shot on goal.

“Anytime you play in this Ivy schedule, people are going to play hard,” said defenseman Ryan McDuff ’13. “I think our guys stepped up to the challenge after a disappointing showing against Princeton, where we didn’t have the energy and didn’t perform very well.”

At the 29:56 mark in the second half, Popolizio had a wide-open opportunity on an unmanned Harvard net. As he planted a shot, a Crimson player dove in front of the ball and headed away what would have been the deciding goal.

Bruno was missing one of its starters ­­— Jon Okafor ’11 watched from the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered during the Princeton game.

Size difference was notable, with several Harvard players towering over the field. Defenseman Richard Smith was the tallest coming in at 6-foot 6-inches. He was going against the likes of forward Austin Mandel ’12, who measures over a foot shorter than Smith at 5-foot 5-inches.

The tie keeps Harvard ahead of Brown in league standings. Penn and Princeton, both undefeated in Ivy play, are tied for the top spot.

“From our standpoint, we have a lot of ties this year,” said first-year Harvard Head Coach Carl Junot. “Both teams felt like they should’ve and could’ve won this game. We stay a point ahead of Brown on the Ivy League ladder so this is a positive for us.”

For the Brown players, the large crowd that filled both sides of the pitch did not go unnoticed.

“We had great fan support again,” McDuff said. “We want to thank them for coming out.”

Brunonians will have another chance to see their team in action as Brown stays at home for an out-of-conference tussle with Hartwick set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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